The Dread Judgment Seat of Christ

Though we do well to spend time speaking of the heart it is also important that it not be somehow viewed separate from the rest of us. The heart is not only the seat of our encounter with God, it is also the place where our own evil thoughts may emanate. What comes from the heart reveals the heart. In the 25th chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus offers the parable of the…

The Hypostatic Nearness of You

Sometimes I sit down to write with an idea and I know that I am either getting ready to write something good, or something really bad. That is how I feel about this particularly topic. I have good feelings about it because I am writing about something that is close to my heart and which I think about frequently. I have forboding, because such things are notoriously hard to capture. Some years…

To Think with the Heart

I had the privilege two weeks ago to be in Detroit, Michigan, together with my wife, and to speak at the Faith of Our Fathers Colloquim – an event to share Orthodoxy with with interested Anglicans and others. Those who spoke were mostly, like myself, former Episcopal priests who had been received into Orthodoxy at various points in their ministries. I was not assigned a theological talk, per se, but asked to…

In Accordance with the Scriptures

I begin teaching a class tomorrow, under the umbrella of our local community college – there are usually 40 to 50 non-Orthodox who attend these weekly classes. But my subject is “Christ and the God of the Old Testament.” From many conversations over the years I hear more confusion about the Old Testament from Christians many of whom have opted for some quiet form of Marcionism. That is, many simply dismiss the…

Your Prayers Please

Apparently like many around this part of Tennessee, I’ve been ill with a flu of sorts the last 24 hours. This is only the second time to look at the computer. I’ve had to miss several services, but pray to be able to be back at the altar tomorrow morning. I would appreciate your prayers as I will pray for you all. I’m already mending a bit (got up as far as…

Soul Saturday

In my early exposure to Orthodoxy, I became intrigued with the term, “Soul Saturday.” My family would visit a monastery not too far away for their annual pilgrimage that occured on one of the weekends of a “Soul Saturday.” This is term from popular parlance, the more proper English title of the event is a “Memorial Saturday.” These are held at a number of times during the year, mostly during Lent. They…

Driving with a Goddess

That was a misleading title to this post. But I found myself driving through town yesterday and caught sight of a bumpersticker (how can you not – that’s what they’re there for) – which said, “I am a Goddess.” Of course the first thought that comes to mind is, “Which one?” But I know that’s a silly question and I think I understand what the driver meant by her bumpersticker and I…

Praying in the Belly of a Whale

The marvelous book of Jonah, read in its entirety on Holy Saturday, includes a very rich prayer which is obviously intended to be spoken from within the depths of Hades itself – thus its inclusion on Holy Saturday, the day on which Christ is proclaiming liberty to those “in prison.” Like the phrase from Psalm 139, “Lo if I descend into Hell there art there,” this prayer in Jonah is a poignant…

Uniting with Christ

Last Sunday (which was truly busy), I had the joy of five Baptisms to begin the day. Orthodox Baptism not only has a lot of prayer, but it seems, that with each additional candidate another level of chaos is reached. It is simply a joyful action and practicalities involved in immersion (and the changing of clothes, etc.) invariably slow things down and ratchet up the chaos – but a joyful chaos. I…

So What’s Wrong with Us?

I’m sitting in the Jacksonville airport with a couple of hours of free-time, and a kind airport that actually has free wi-fi. Some airports, such as Detroit (as I learned last week) charge you to use wi-fi. Ouch! I’ve been thinking some as drove around northern Florida today (definitely not Detroit or Tennessee) on the general topic of “what is wrong with us?” I was using as my starting point the death…